Project details

Marketing Sustainable Agriculture: An analysis of the potential role of new food supply chains in sustainable rural development – SUS-CHAIN

The purpose of the project is to assess the potential role of food supply chains in the enhancement of sustainable food production and rural development by identifying critical points in food supply chains which currently constrain the further dissemination of sustainable production, and recommend actions that are likely to enhance the prospects for sustainable food markets. Specific attention will be given to factors related to the organisational structure of food supply chains and interactions between different stages of the chain.

Specific objectives are: To map the diversity of current definitions of sustainability that are associated with new food supply chains. To examine the extent to which there is convergence/consensus regarding competing meanings of sustainable production and quality at different levels of different food supply chains in various European regions. To identify the most widely encountered bottlenecks and constraints that inhibit the enhancement of sustainable food production. To examine different ways of communication and mechanism of economic co-ordination between the actors in the food chain and assess their capacity to enhance cohesive, collective action within sustainable food supply chains. And: To examine the relevant policy environment for the development of sustainable food supply chains.

To do so a carefully selected, representative set of case examples in different countries will be studied to assess their performance in relation to factors such as marketing channel choice, institutional embeddedness and policy interfaces.

The project is coordinated by the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University (NL).

Project no.: 



Research | Socio-economics of farm business | Sustainable land use |


European Commission, Directorate-General for Research


2003 - 2005

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek